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development definition


This page has 11 definitions of development in English. Development is a noun. Examples of how to use development in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .


Alternative forms


From French développement, from Old French desvelopemens (unrolling). By surface analysis, develop +‎ -ment. First attested in 1756.



development (countable and uncountable, plural developments)

  1. (uncountable) The process of developing; growth, directed change.
    The development of this story has been slow.
    • 2013 July 19, Ian Sample, “Irregular bedtimes may affect children's brains”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 34:
      Irregular bedtimes may disrupt healthy brain development in young children, according to a study of intelligence and sleeping habits.  ¶ Going to bed at a different time each night affected girls more than boys, but both fared worse on mental tasks than children who had a set bedtime, researchers found.
  2. (uncountable, biology) The process by which a mature multicellular organism or part of an organism is produced by the addition of new cells.
    The organism has reached a crucial stage in its development.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page 5:
      Of more significance in the nature of branch development; in the Jubulaceae, as in the Porellaceae, branches are acroscopic and normally replace a ventral leaf lobe.
  3. (countable) Something which has developed.
    Our news team brings you the latest developments.
  4. (real estate, countable) A project consisting of one or more commercial or residential buildings.
  5. (real estate, uncountable) The building of such a project.
  6. (uncountable) The application of new ideas to practical problems (cf. research).
    Our development department has produced three new adhesives this year.
  7. (chess, uncountable) The active placement of the pieces, or the process of achieving it.
    White's development is good, but black's has been hampered by the pawn on e5.
  8. (music) The process by in which previous material is transformed and restated.
  9. (music) The second section of a piece of music in sonata form, in which the original theme is revisited in altered and varying form.
  10. (mathematics) The expression of a function in the form of a series.

Derived terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading

  • "development" in Raymond Williams, Keywords (revised), 1983, Fontana Press, page 103.